Flemish Paintings of the 16th and 17th Centuries
During the 17th century the Southern Netherlands, called Flanders, remained under the control of Catholic Spain. Antwerp was the primary commercial and artistic center of this region. It was there that Peter Paul Rubens painted the vivid and expressive portraits, mythological subjects, and religious scenes for which he is so renowned. The great Flemish portraitist Anthony van Dyck appealed to courtly patrons throughout Europe and England with his aristocratic and elegant images. Still lifes by Osias Beert the Elder and Jan Brueghel the Elder, as well as paintings of daily life by David Teniers the Younger, also testify to the exceptional quality and variety of Flemish painting in this period.